Siobhan's Story

Siobhan has been swimming 30 miles to raise money for the Psoriasis Association. In her story, she shares the struggles that she's had with her health over the years.

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Psoriatic arthritis and me. Wow. Since I was 11 I have suffered with horrific migraines. Years of treatment. Time in hospital. As a teenager I had awful stiffness, nasty period pains and horrendous bleeding. I noticed my nails had lines. If I said anything to anyone in the family, I was just looking for attention. So, I said nothing. 

I didn't like running at school primary or secondary school It was difficult and painful. I was deemed lazy. Stairs were difficult, high stepped ones. Especially for my left leg. As a teenager, my weight went all over the shop and still does.  I am petrified of lifts. 

My first son was born when I was 19. Epidural - never ever again.  When I went to stand up, my left leg gave away.  The doctor was very dismissive. So, I let it go. For years I carried my son up and down the stairs.  My hips and lower back hurting. Moving around after migraine attacks was awful.

I mentioned to the gp. It was dismissed again. I was told I was "too young."  I was walking and riding a bike most places. Swimming when I was not uncomfortable.  11 years later I had another pregnancy. Blood clots in legs and lungs. In and out of hospital. The only way I could walk was slowly and with a shopping trolley. I couldn't move without being in pain. It was relentless. 

After having my second son, I brought up the matter again. Again, it was dismissed. In 2008, I fell over a broken my left knee. I now have generalised weakness in both knees and hip pain. Alongside the migraine attacks.

In 2016 I had a major operation.  When I came around, I had terrible headaches and lower back pain. I was taken back to theatre and was told I had a hole in my spine and my blood was used to close the hole. 

In 2017 my skin started to become red raw. I was bleeding. After months of waiting to see a dermatologist, I was given a diagnosis of psoriasis.  I battled again with pain. Until I was told you might have psoriatic arthritis. “None of your bones are misaligned.  Your hip x Ray was clear. You do have swollen finger. You’re not active enough.” 

I was so angry I lost my temper. I have dogs that are walked 3 times a day, I'm a team leader lifeguard, being active and swimming a lot.

That was three years ago. I'm still the same expect now my heels hurt the majority of the time and my fingers hurt.  My skin is always red raw and bleeding and my face some days is so patchy and red I have been called the real nightmare on Elms Street.  Last week I couldn't swim because of the pain. 

I live with chronic migraine and I'm a carer for my son's. Reading articles on the Psoriasis Association website has had a positive impact on my life and I don't feel so alone. I haven’t yet taken the step to join any forums as I don't get much time to myself.

I would love more help. I am swimming 30 miles to raise money for the Psoriasis Association.  I don't want people to go through what I am. As a mum it can be do difficult. My boys have their own health needs and everyday is a fight for them both.  I will be there for them always.

You can still support Siobhan's swim and donate to her JustGiving page here